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Seminar: "Crossing gender and postcolonial borders: Academic women on the move"

thaisYou are warmly invited to join us for this exciting event:


Crossing gender and postcolonial borders: Academic women on the move. A reflection on the experiences of Brazilian women in Portuguese academia

Wednesday, October 19th 2016

1.00 – 2.30 pm

S2.84 (Social Sciences Building)

Free and open to all; no registration required


Dr. Thais França (CIES – Lisbon University Institute)


Academic mobility has been presented as a fundamental step in academic career development. Its benefits – transnational networking, knowledge circulation and increase of international publishing – have been largely acclaimed. However, it cannot be disregarded that this phenomenon occurs in a context of the advancement of neoliberal ideas in the academic context. Hence, it is fundamental to analyse the academic through a critical perspective that considers not only its advantages but also its hierarchies and power asymmetries. In order to investigate women’s experience in academic mobility schemes, reflecting on how gender differences shape it, it is important to denounce some of the discrimination and inequalities that are reproduced through academic mobility programs. To accept claims such as “academic women are less mobile than their male colleagues” without considering its causes and its impact on women’s career is to render invisible exclusion dynamics strongly present in academia. Indeed, the different variables and interests present in academic mobility processes demand a complex analysis that goes beyond a single perspective. It is necessary to take in consideration how the various markers of difference interact to shape subjects’ academic mobility experience. The case of Brazilian academics in Portuguese academia is a powerful illustration of how gender, race, nationality and geopolitical hierarchies bound together to legitimate stereotypes and exclusion dynamics.

Chair and Discussant:

Dr. Maria do Mar Pereira (Sociology)



Thais França is from Brazil but currently works in Portugal as a Post-Doc researcher at CIES-IUL, Portugal. She received her PhD in the Sociology of Work at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, an MA in Work Psychology at the University of Bologna, Italy, under the European Erasmus Mundus Master Program “Work, Organizational, and Personal Psychology” and a Bachelor degree in Psychology at the Federal University of Ceará, Brasil.

Her current research project is about gender and scientific mobility in Europa, analyzing, especially, issues relating to sexism and racism in the Academic environment. This research interest emerges from her own personal experience as a Latin American migrant woman – first in Italy and now in the Portuguese academia – and from what she has experienced and heard from other migrant women researchers.

As feminist studies teaches us, on the one hand the separation between researcher and object is unwarranted, and on the other hand there should be no difference between feminism research and activism. To recognize myself as a “Brazilian immigrant woman”; to implicate my biography in my analysis; to demarcate in my writings a situated position; and to assume a political and ideological commitment with social transformation; are some of the characteristics I attempt to include in all of my work.


Seminar organised by the Centre for the Study of Women and Gender, in collaboration with AMIN: Academic Mobilities and Immobilities Network